I don't intend to bore you with all the little frustrations relating to my purchases, but
will just mention the big problems.
The first of these was the noise generated by the water heating machinery turning on. The way it works is that it is connected to the solar panel outside, and by taking the refrigerant that goes through the grid and changing it from liquid to gas and back again, it captures the heat produced. In my way of thinking this process should be quicker and more efficient in the daytime and in summer, but I still haven't proved this to my satisfaction.
The cycle goes from the machine turning on when the temperature in the water tank goes down to 50° and heating it through the exchange process until it reaches 55° . In the night in winter this takes about two hours. This meant that from the time I went to bed at 10 until I got up at 7, there would be four times that I was wakened by a loud grating noise, which only lasts a few seconds, but is loud enough to wake me from the deepest sleep. And consequently, I was not happy with this situation.
My bed is next to the machine, and I like to sleep with the door open, but even with it
closed, and a blanket put over it, and earplugs, I was still wakened. So I complained to the company. Part of the package is a 25 year guarantee on the product, and a year's guarantee on everything else.
I should mention that in the daytime, the noise caused by the machine doesn't bother me at all. Most likely I will not be in my bedroom very often, and if so, I just ignore it.
As it happens, I had not been asked to sign the form for the last bit of work by one of the workmen, so my complaint conicded with them wanting to come to visit me anyway. So my friend Harry, came at 9.05 the next morning to see if he could sort out my machine.
We tried everything we could, and couldn't get a loud noise from the machine. So he wrote it down as an occasional loud noise, which caused anxiety, but there didn't seem to be anyway of predicting it, so no way of preventing it. I signed his form, and he was off. I wasn't happy, but as I couldn't demonstrate the noise and the effect it was having on my life, I couldn't get them to do anything about it.
This situation continued, and my quality of sleep was so bad, that I decided I would tell them to remove the system completely. You do get a short period of time when you can go back on the contract, and get your money back. I sent an email to the company, and I did get a response from one of the directors. He said he would send somebody to see to it. I mentioned that nobody had come to fix the holes in the walls either, so he said they would also deal with that.
But nobody came. Strangely, I had a follow up call asking if I was now satisfied, and I told them nothing had happened. So again, a phone call from another of the directors, and listening to my problems, he said that they could put a timer on the machine, so it went off at night. I had considered just turning it off at night as a solution to my problem, but it said very clearly in the litrature that this was not advised, and I didn't want to spoil my guarantee by disobeying their instructions.
So a few days hence the very overweight Fred came.
“Have you had this problem before, with people complaining about the noise?”
“No, never,” he said.
“So you haven't had anyone ask for a timer on it?”
“First time for that. But I can see where you are coming from with your bedroom being so close.”
“And has anyone had their machine taken out?”
He looked shocked.
“No. Everyone I have ever spoken to about it has been very pleased with it. You are the first to complain, but I hope things will be okay for you after this.”
Becaue of his size he couldn't get into the space where he wanted to put the timer, but found another place. He couldn't get down to fill up the holes either, so he put a panel with one screw holding it on that he could reach which covered the outside hole.
My problems were pretty much solved. I could sleep at night, and I didn't think that not having the water kept at 55° for the night when nobody was using water was of any value anyway. The base temperature in the morning was usually about 40° but as I had the timer set for the machine to come on at 6 a.m., the machine could do its job before I needed really hot water at 8 or so.
And I also found through trial and error, that since the grating turning on noise is no doubt caused by vibration, putting a heavy object like a dictionary on top of the machine, does reduce the sound somewhat.
I should be happy now you think? Well, I was for a week or two.